orageversion 4.7.5. Last updated: January 2010
Copyright © 2006-2010 Juha Kautto
Table of Contents
Orage is a time-managing application of the Xfce 4 Desktop Environment . It includes a calendar window, list of events and day view. Orage has several kinds of alarms and is ical compatible so that you can transfer appointments from other calendar systems into Orage or vica versa. It also provides an easy way to archive and manage your old appointments.
Orage is started by typing
orage on the command line or in the run
application window. The command line accepts some options like -v, which
tells the version and -h, which shows short usage help. You can also start
orage by clicking on the item
orage in the submenu "Office" from the
desktop menu. Another handy way of starting
orage is to click button 1 on
orageclock panel plugin. But usually
orage is started automatically as
part of Xfce startup.
When you run
orage, you will first see the calendar window appearing.
The calendar window provides you a menu bar giving access to different functions. Below that is a standard calendar showing the month, the year, day names and week numbers. At the bottom there is small window showing active TODOs and EVENTs on the selected day.
The menubar contains four menus: File, Edit, View and Help.
The file menu contains four items:
oragedata. (1) import and export appointments between
orageand operating system files or 2) rename
oragefiles or 3) add and remove foreign calendar files.);
oragerunning in the background;
The Edit menu gives you access to the settings window, which will be explained later.
The View menu has three choices:
Calendar view presents you one month, which you can change by pressing the arrow beside the month name or the year number or using the mouse wheel. Days where you have appointments or where you have Ending TODO are marked as bold. One day is always selected and shown with a block. You can change the selected day by single clicking any day number. Double clicking a day number causes event list window for that day to be activated (or day list if you changed your preferences).
The bottom window lists your active TODOs. You can scroll to see them all. Red means the TODO is late (due date has passed). Blue means that the TODO is active (start time has passed, but you still have time before the due time passes). And black means a future TODO. You can edit TODOs by double clicking the row. All rows have tooltips, which show more details about the TODO.
The event list (or appointment list as it is also called) window shows all activites that you have reserved for the day (date is shown in the window heading in your locale format). On top of the window you have menu and buttons to do actions. This is your main activity window and you may want to keep it up all the day and even make it to appear on all workspaces or to be always on top of other windows.
There are ten activity buttons in the button bar from left to right:
Each of the four tabs selects the type of appointments to show. There may also be extra selections possible depending on the tab. You can select tab by clicking it or by using the mouse wheel. Let's check each tab:
The list shows all appointments satisfying the conditions and tab type. Scrollbars will appear if there are more lines or longer lines than what fits into the window. You can edit any appointment by double clicking the row. Each line has three fields:
oragedoes not enforce these and the flag is only as a comment (in the future this may be enforced).
The day list window shows all events that you have reserved for the next days. Default is to show 7 days, but you can change that and see up to 40 days at once. On top of the window you have menu and buttons to do actions. This is another form of your main activity window and more usefull than event list window if you want to find room for your new events or see your agenda and free time from longer perod than one day.
There are six activity buttons in the button bar from left to right:
Below the buttonbar are the two settings. You can change the start day of the day list and the number of days shown.
Biggest part of the window is the day list area. You can click the header of the day to open event list window for that day. First line contains full day events when defined. The other lines contain events that you have scheduled. Each event has tooltip which include appointment details. You can update the event by double clicking it. Events are placed on the start time row and even if the length is several hours, the event is only visible on single row. If the event is taking time (availability=Busy), there is vertical line in front of it showing its length. These lines show how full your calendar is and makes it easier to find free time quickly. If more than one event starts at the same hour, they all are added to the same row / column after each other and the reservation line is the overlap of them.
The appointment window is used to add, edit and delete appointments.
It is the most complex window in
orage, but most fields still have good
default values and are not mandatory. It has button bar (All actions are
also available in menus above the buttons) and three tabs controlling
basic settings and alarms and recurrence settings.
There are 5 activity buttons in the button bar from left to right:
In this tab, you define the contents of the appointment.
Orage can handle three types of appointments:
The title of the appointment. It appears in the event list and also in the alarm window and is listed at the header of this window. It should be a rather short summary of the appointment.
This field should describe where the event happens. It can
be for example Home or Office or Paris depending on what kind of
appointment you have. It is also possible to leave it empty.
is not using it in any special way, nor is it visible anywhere
else than here. Journals do not have location.
Selecting this checkbox causes so called whole day appointment to be defined. These do not have start nor end time defined, but it is possible that the event lasts several days. Start time is assumed to be the beginning of the day at 00:00 and end date at the last day at 24:00.
Defines the start time of the appointment. First, press the date button and choose the date from the calendar. After that you set the hour and minute using either your mouse wheel or clicking the small arrows. It is also possible to type the numbers directly to the fields. Hours go from 0 to 23 (24 is not allowed value).
The last button is timezone. Default value for new appointments is your current timezone, which you have set in the preferences. It is recommended to use real timezones instead of floating. You should not mix floating with real timezones although it is possible. Floating means that time is not bound to any timezone, but varies according to current settings. Modifying either the default timezone or start timezone may cause floating values to change.
Similar to Start, but defines naturally the ending time. Note that start and end timezones may be different (for example when you schedule a meeting in abroad you can set the starting time in your local timezone and the rest of the timings in the destination timezone). Event list window always shows times in your local time. Only events have end time.
Similar to End, but defines the time where the todo should be completed. Only todos have due time.
Often it is easier to set the appointment duration instead of ending (or due) time. You can do that by marking the first box here. It is not possible to have both end/due time and duration at the same time, so end/due time setting will be unavailable after you select duration. Maximum duration is 1000 days, which is almost three years. Note that although the minute selection jumps 5 minutes at a time, you can manually enter any number.
What kind of reservation is this. There are two possiblities:
Free means that the action is not reserving
the time and it is possible to schedule more appointments at the
same time and respectively Busy means that
nothing else can not be done at this time. Note that current
orage does not enforce these menings and the flag is
only as a comment (in the future this may be checked).
By selecting the Done box you mark this todo as done. The completed time can then be set. Format is similar to other times (like Start). Only todos have completed time.
Free format text, which you can use to categorize your appointment. It is also possible to create a list of categories and associate those to colours. You can then pick one of those and get your appointment to be shown with that colour in the event list window.
Priority of the appointment.
orage is not using this, so treat it
just like a comment.
Free format text, where you can and should explain more the appointment. It is shown in the alarm window. Scrollbars appear when needed.
In this tab, you define the alarm for the appointment.
three kinds of alarms: window, sound and procedure, but they all happen
at the same time. It is possible to define only one alarm time for each
appointment. To cause an alarm you need to do two things: You have to
define alarm time and select alarm type. By default alarm happens 5
minutes before the appointment start time. Default alarm is Orage
window without sound.
Alarm time is set if any of the alarm timing numbers is non zero (in other words there is no special flag to set alarm; just define the time for it. This also prevents setting alarm to happen exactly at the appointment start/end time). You need explicitely select each alarm type by crossing the Use box. If you do not choose any alarm types, the alarm does not happen.
Define how much earlier or later the alarm happens. If all numbers are zero, no alarm is raised for this appointment. The last field defines what these alarm offset numbers mean. You can define alarm to happen based on start or end time of the appointment and also if it happens after or before the time. Default is to alarm before the start time of the appointment. But specially for todos it is often more usefull to raise alarm before the due (=end) time.
orage is not running (for example if your computer is shutdown)
alarms can't happen. If you want to get reminders after
starts again, you need to set the alarm as persistent. By default
alarms are just lost.
Define the sound file to be played when the alarm fires. Leaving this empty disables sound alarm. Remember to define the actual play command in the preferences dialog. You should also test that your system can play the filetype you choose there. Simply start a terminal and test it using the command you specified and the sound file.
By default alarm sound is played only once, but you can make it
repeated by choosing the box next line. You can also define how
many time it is repeated and what is the interval. Be carefull
to set the interval longer than the length of the sound since
orage does not wait for the previous sound to end before starting
the next sound after the interval.
Note that there is a silence button in visual alarms, so that you
can stop the noise, but that only prevents the next play to happen,
it does not interrupt currently playing alarm, which you should
remember when using long lasting soundfiles.
orage can show two kinds of internal visual alarms. Orage window
is a small alarm window showing the heading and note text.
Notification is more fancy notification using libnotify. You need
to have libnotify installed before you can define notification
kind of visual alarm. orage -v shows if you
have libnotify support included.
This makes it possible to use external alarms. You can run any operating system command or script. Common use for this is sending email.
You can test your alarm by pressing this. It raises the alarms immediately so that you can listen the sounds and see the windows.
You can either set alarm back to default options or you can store current settings to be default alarm for all new appointments. There is only one default alarm, which applies to all appointments.
In this tab you can define repeating appointments. Often it makes
sense that the same appointment happens every day or every month instead
of creating a new appointment for each event. Note that
orage does not
support exclusion day ranges (like you would like to skip holiday period
from you work related appointments), so you have to end the whole
recurrency and enable it again after it need to resume.
misses the possibility to modify only one specific event from a
recurring set. All changes affect the whole set of appointments.
Default is Basic and that makes it possible to define frequency and limit of the appointment only. Often that is enough and these settings are very easy and fast to do even if you are not familiar with calendars and alarms. Selecting Advanced gives you more possibilities and makes it possible to build complex recurrent appointments like for example:
This is the base repeating period. Default is no repeat (=None) and other possibilities are daily, weekly, monthly and yearly.
The next selection makes it possible to easily skip some periods. Default value is 1 and it means every time as specified in the Frequency selection. 2 means every second time and 3 every third time etc. For example if you want to schedule your meeting to happen every third week, select Frequency = Weekly and set Interval to 3. (Starting time is selected in the General tab and next event happens exactly 3 weeks from that)
orage allows you also to limit the repeating count:
Default is that all days are checked, which means that the event happens normally every day. By removing any check, you prevent the appointment to happen on that day. In other words, your appointment only happens on checked weekdays. The most natural usage of this is to use it with Frequency = Daily. You may want to have a chat meeting for example each Monday and Wednesday. You can do this by selecting Frequency = Daily and by checking only Weekdays Mon and Wed.
Selecting Weekly or Monthly actually causes the same thing. Deselecting any weekday for weekly or monthly or yearly repeating appointments causes all the remaining weekdays to become selected even though the original repeating selection only selects one day from the period. This is needed so that it is possible to schedule for example a meeting to happen every second week on Tuesday and Friday (Frequency = weekly, Interval = 2, Weekdays = Tue and Fri).
This setting can only be used for monthly and yearly repeating events. It can be used to select which weekday from the month or year is selected. For example if you want to schedule your meeting to happen on the first Tuesday of every month, you can first select Frequency = Monthly and then check only Tuesday from Weekdays and finally set this "which day" number to be 1 (choose the number located below Tuesday). Negative numbers count backwards starting from the end of period and zero means that this setting is not used. Frequency = Yearly, weekdays = Thursday only clicked and which say = -2 means second last Thursday of the year.
Here is list of exception times. - sign at the end of the row means exclusion where the appointment does not happen even though it was included in the repeat set. + sign means it is extra time to do the appointment.
You can remove the exception by double clicking it in the listing window. You can add new exception by first selecting the type (either excluded or included times) and then double clicking a day in one of the calendars below.
(Note that even though excluded time should be date, it can be shown as time in some systems. This is a way to workaround a bug where some calendar backend systems are not able to handle full date exclusions properly.)
Three small helper calendars, which show when the appointment will happen next. They show real time data, which is not stored in the system until you press save button.
The exchange data window is used to control physical files of
It is possible to import files having calendar data or just use those
files as they are (foreign). It is also possible to export appointments
orage to operating system files and change the names of
Enter the name of the file which you want to copy into
You can do several files in a row by separating names with comma.
After you have the file name in place, press Save and
the contents in. After the file has been imported, those
appointmenst are part of
orage and can't be differentiated or
put back into the file.
You can also import foreign files from the operating system using
command line. This feature can be used to import ical files
directly from the web by telling the browser (like firefox) that
the action is to start
Enter the name of the file where you want
orage to write
appointments. You can choose either all appoinments or just a
list of ids. Pressing save causes the appointments to be read and
written to the external file. (The appointments are are not
orage but are kept in it also.)
You can either revert all archived appointments back to the main
orage file or force archiving. It is good idea to revert archive
if you do exports since export does not look data from archive
It is possible to relocate and rename both active
and the passive archive file. Pressing save does the actual action.
There are 3 options for these actions:
orageinternal structures. It does not touch operating system files at all. The new file has to exist before this operation can be done. First copy the file in you operating system and then you can change the name.
orage can include and maintain other than its main data file.
It is possible to add (and remove) so called foreign files. They
behave similarly than base data file, but they remain isolated,
so that it is easy to move them back to the original system
where they came from. This is mainly meant to be used when you
need to maintain your calendar also in other than
it is good idea to mark the file as read only, which prevents
you from modifying any of the appointments in the corresponding
file. (Orage uses some private ical components, which are not
necessarily understood by the other system, so updates may cause
problems for the other tool.)
You can also add foreign files from the operating system using command line: orage --add-foreign file
The preferences window is used to enter initial values for
You can define for example several display options, how old appointments
should be archived and what is the command to be used for playing
sound alarms and also you can set the local timezone for
You should always set the default timezone for
orage. It is
possible to use also floating times, but then all times should be
in floating form. It is a bad idea to mix floating and timezone
times. Floating times tend to move to follow any timezones they
orage does not delete appointments automatically, so usually your
calendar file grows bigger and because of that
orage gets slower
and takes up more memory from the system. Enabling automatic
archiving causes old appointments to be moved from the active
calendar file to passive history file after the selected time.
This helps to keep the active file smaller and the application in
good shape. Archiving is enabled by setting the threshold to other
than 0 value. Of course it is also possible to manually delete
appointments, but that removes them permanently and you will not
be able to find them later.
orage also splits
so that if the original start date is older than threshold, that
appointment is added to the archive file and the starting date in
the active calendar file is updated to contain only values more
recent than the threshold. This also saves time when
searching recurrent events.
Here you can define which sound command
orage uses when playing
sound files. Try testing some common commands like play or aplay
from terminal to see what works in your system. You probably do
not want to use full version of totem or mplayer since they will
cause a video window also to appear and that most probably is not
what you want.
Basically it is possible to do other than sound commands also since
orage really only starts this program and gives it
the sound file
as parameter. But this is not the intention of this feature.
In this tab you can define visibility options for the
main window of
You can hide window borders and make the calendar window smaller by unselecting this option. This frees more space to your other applications from your workspace.
By unselecting this you can leave out the menubar in the top of the calendar window.
Select whether you want to see month and year controls in the main calendar window.
Controls day names visibility on top of the calendar window.
Controls visibility of week numbers on left of calendar.
You can hide TODO list in the main calendar by deselecting this.
You can hide EVENT list in the main calendar by setting this to zero. Non zero values means the number of days to show events for.
Show calendar window on all workspaces by selecting this.
Keep calendar window on top of all other windows.
Controls if calendar is visible in the taskbar.
Controls if calendar is visible in the pager.
Controls if calendar is visible in the systray. A small
icon is presented in the systray if this is selected. It is
recommended that you enable this feature. By clicking this icon
orage is toggled visible or hidden. If you do not have
the systray, you have two other options to make the main calendar
window visible: You can either click Orage-clock panel plugin
or you can start
It is possible to define that
orage starts in the background or
as minimized. This option only affects the start of
Controls which day is selected after
calendar window is hidden
and comes visible again (for example by clicking orageclock panel
plugin). Default value is off, which means that previously
selected day will remain selected. Crossing this causes
current date instead being selected.
Setting this causes
orage to use dynamic icon in taskbar (if you
have taskbar and you have selected to use taskbar in the Display
tab). Note that this icon is used also other places where icon
Dynamic icon includes real month day number and also shows weekday
in the top and month name at the bottom. (
orage uses appreviations
if real names are too long to fit to the available space.)
You can revert back to old static icon by deselecting this.
You can define to start either the event list (=appointment list) or the day view window when you double click day numbers in the main calendar window.
Define how many days to show in the event list when it starts. (It is possible to change the number in the event list window.)
Some hidden options allow you to customize
orage behaviour. You can find
and change those in
You must be carefull not to change the format of this file or
not start anymore. All the other settings are in the same file.
Undocumented settings are:
orageupdates this automatically, so your setting will be overwritten.
orageupdates this automatically, so your setting will be overwritten.
orageprints to the screen or log file ~/.xsession-errors. Message number are:
oragebefore these message are in use)
oragetries is best to find this setting automatically, but if your weekly repeating appointments seem to be wrong, you can try to set this. 0 = Monday, 1 = Tuesday...
Some common questions and answers.
Why does my week start on Saturday?
This really is a problem in your distro. You can check how your
operating system reports these to GTK+ and hence to
uses strictly gtk calendar widget and does not tune these settings
itself. Command locale first_weekday shows
which day is the first day in your system. Usually Sunday is day
number 1, but that can be changed so check that with command
locale day, which shows days starting from day
number 1. You may try with different LANG enevironment variable
settings and calendar view in
orage should change accordingly. Log
a new bug for
orage if you think it is not working correctly.
Look more information from
Xfce bug 1237
Debian bug 215466
If you are adventurous, you can actually fix these yourself. You need to find your locale definition file (like fi_FI or fr_FR). locate is your friend here and helps finding it. After that you can check what the setting is: grep first_weekday fi_FI and change that if it is wrong and after that you need to recompile your locale database.
How can I insert my ical file into
You can do this with so called foreig files. Add your file as
a foreign file and
orage will use it. Or you can import the file
orage includes the appointmemts (After this you can not tell
the difference anymore, so you can not easily move them back to
where they came form.)
How can skip my repeating appointment from happening during some period of time?
This is common requirement. You may for example have work related
meetings happening every week and when you are on holiday you would
not like to get alarmed by those nor would you like to see those.
The iCal standard uses term "Exception Dates" for this kind of
feature, but unfortunately
orage does not include that feature.
The easiest way probably is to end those appointment with end date
and then after the holiday remove the end date again.
orage has excluded date feature, so you can exclude full days, but
only one day at a time.
orage still does not support excluded periods.
I have found a bug in
orage or would like to see a new feature. How
can I inform that to the developers?
You should file a bug into
or send an email to
<firstname.lastname@example.org> Xfce development. Please, remember
to include your full
orage version (preferable the results from
orage -v or look the version from the about
I upgraded to Orage 4.6 or 4.8 from Orage 4.4 and now my old appointments are missing. Are they permanently lost?
Since version 4.6
orage uses different default location for
appointments than the previous version. And there is no automatic
upgrade partly because it is safer to leave the old data as it is
in case you need revert back.
orage 4.6 appointments are not
compatible with older
orage. You can however copy your old file to
the new place or export its contents. You can do that either manually
from operating system (make sure
orage is not running) or using the
Old default location (in 4.4) is
and new location (after 4.6) is
orage support group schedules?
No. Not yet at least.